Num 16:27 So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones.
Narcissists (and actually their kind – revilers, abusers, sociopaths) are always working to build image. Much like Nebuchadnezzar who commanded an image of himself be built and everyone ordered to bow down to it, so the RASN is always, always, always at work propping up an image of himself/herself which others are to bow to. Someone I read recently said that the RASN’s family life is not about family, it is about image. How the RASN and his family are perceived. What the observed persona, reputation, and name are presented as. This is what makes the RASN’s family activities and relationships tick.
Now, sometimes – maybe even with some frequency – the other family members actually buy into this image production. They bow down to the RASN and actually begin to embrace the RASN’s goal of the image. Why? Because there are benefits to be gleaned from doing so, and to be lost if the image is rejected. Monetary benefits. Reception of praise from those who believe the image. “Look at OUR family” is akin to “look at me.” It’s like choosing to live with a celebrity because the celeb status rubs off onto those in close association.
Now, when this dynamic kicks in – and it can be in a family or even in a local church – anyone who exposes the false image, who refuses to bow down to it, will – count on it – be despised, defamed, punished and rejected. That was your experience, right? When you ceased participating in the image building of the abuser? Whistleblowers must be punished.
Entire families, entire churches, can become narcissistic kingdoms wherein all members buy into the image for self-serving benefit. This is why it is so common to see the primary RASN exposed – caught and busted in some wickedness – and yet excused and covered for by the members. I had one wife of a RASN tell me once, “he is a GOOD husband!” when she suspected I doubted that.
It is anything but pleasant to cross paths with such narcissist entities, be it a family or a local church or a business or other entity. Play along, contribute to the image, or else. Such structures have very much in common with the groups that cult leaders construct. Praise, acceptance, material benefit all await those who bow down to the image. Shame, rejection, and withholding are the certain fate of those who refuse.